Social Media Round Up: When Function Trumps Form

A camel is a horse designed by committee, and your website might look like one if you focus on function over form. Get better results when launching your next website or content program. Plus: how to write emails your members actually want to read.

Launching a new website is a lot of fun. But a successful project hinges on more than a great interface. You’ve got to have the process—and the people—in place to make it work. Thad Lurie’s 60/40 rule, and more, in today’s Social Media Roundup.

The 60/40 Rule

Less flash, more function: Few projects generate more excitement than a new content program or website launch. It’s always a thrill for employees and stakeholders to test out a new system with all the bells and whistles. But just like test-driving a new car, there comes a time when you have to make practical decisions. Writing for Mission Critical, a blog that focuses on association technology issues, Thad Lurie, CAE, talks about the importance of process and govenance. Just because a site or content program looks good and has cool new features doesn’t mean it will meet your organization’s needs. “Let’s face it, watching the demos for the new system is way more entertaining than discussing in painstaking detail who is going to be responsible for curating which content, what the overall content strategy is, crafting a website purpose statement, prioritizing elements and functions, integrating a marketing strategy, and so on,” writes Lurie. But the reality is that those details are just as important, if not more so. When considering a new website or content system, Lurie recommends applying the 60/40 rule: Spend at least 60 percent of your time on any major project on governance. The other 40 percent can go toward “system selection and implementation.” How do you allocate your time? (ht @ThadLurie)

Read Me, Please

Dear Betty: You’ve heard of Dear Abby, the syndicated advice column that’s been running in newspapers across the country for forever. But what about Dear Betty? The association advice column is the brainchild of Spark Consulting CEO Elizabeth Engel, CAE. Engel fields questions from association executives in a recurring feature on the Small Staff, Big Impact blog. In a recent post, she tackles the question “How do we get members to read our communications?”  For starters, she says, don’t overwhelm your members with options. “If you ask them to do too many things at once, the Paradox of Choice tells us they’ll likely choose to do nothing,” she writes. Engel—or, um, Betty—also recommends that associations be judicious when deciding how much and what types of information to share and that they tailor communications to the specific needs of members. Don’t just “spray-n-pray,” she writes. Sooner or later, your members will tune you out. Rather than push your communications to your audience, think of creative ways to pull your members in. Create “two-way conversations” that your members want to participate in. (ht @ewengel)

Have any tips for making your content irresistible? Tell us in the comments.


Corey Murray

By Corey Murray

Corey Murray is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

Got an article tip for us? Contact us and let us know!